Bette Midler "Nervous" By Prospect of Starring in Revival of Mame or Hello, Dolly!
By Andrew Gans
Bette Midler, who will begin a West Coast engagement of John Logan's I'll Eat You Last: A Chat With Sue Mengers Dec. 3 at the Geffen Playhouse, recently spoke with the Los Angeles Times about the prospect of starring in a revival of Mame or Hello, Dolly!
Singer-actress Midler told the Los Angeles paper, "These shows are great big bears. It's a lot of new people, and I'm not good anymore at remembering who is who. So I would be nervous about that and I would also be nervous about the social media part of it. I don't like to put myself in harm's way."
Directed by Tony winner Joe Mantello (Wicked, Assassins, Take Me Out), I'll Eat You Last casts Midler as legendary Hollywood agent Sue Mengers (1932-2011). Performances will continue at the Geffen through Dec. 22.
Broadway previews for I'll Eat You Last began April 5 prior to an official opening April 24. In just over eight weeks at the Booth, the production recouped its initial investment of $2.4 million. Upon closing, the limited engagement played 18 previews and 71 regular performances.
The intermissionless work is set in 1981 in the living room of Mengers' Beverly Hills home.
The creative team included three-time Tony Award winner Scott Pask (scenic design), Academy Award winner Ann Roth (costume design), three-time Tony nominee Hugh Vanstone (lighting design), Kathy Fabian (props) and Drama Desk Award winner Fitz Patton (sound design).
Bette Midler has earned three Grammys, four Golden Globes, three Emmys, a Tony Award, and sold 30 million records worldwide in a career that spans more than four decades. She has played film roles in "The Rose," "Down and Out in Beverly Hills," "Ruthless People," "Beaches" and "The First Wives Club," among many others. Midler made her Broadway debut in the chorus of Fiddler on the Roof. Other stage performances include Tony Award-winning Clams on the Half Shell; Experience the Divine, for which she holds the all-time record for a six-week engagement at Radio City Music Hall, The Divine Miss Millennium Tour; Kiss My Brass; and The Showgirl Must Go On at The Colosseum in Caesars Palace. Outside the spotlight, she is the founder of the New York Restoration Project (nyrp.org), a non-profit organization that revitalizes abandoned and neglected public spaces across New York City.
I'll Eat You Last was produced by Graydon Carter, Arielle Tepper Madover, James L. Nederlander, The Shubert Organization, Terry Allen Kramer, Stephanie P. McClelland, Jeffrey Finn, Ruth Hendel, Larry Magid, Jon B. Platt, and Scott & Brian Zeilinger.
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